When Mr. Robot’s Season 2 premiered, we were a little suspicious of Craig Robinson’s new character, Ray. In fairness, we’re suspicious of everyone in this show. But Episode 3 confirmed that Ray is definitely real, and he may just be good for Elliot’s mental health.
The bad news is, Ray is definitely running with some dangerous people. His longest scene showed him talking calmly and pragmatically to a frightened man with a busted up face. “I’m very sorry this happened to you. The guys I work with can be ruthless,” he says, as the camera pans slowly around, past the man’s terrified wife and daughter. Yikes.
So we get a quick glimpse into “that computer thing” he needs Elliot’s help with. Make no mistake, it’s clear that this is going to draw Elliot into some risky new scheme, which is good for the plot but bad for his safety. Yet despite the risks, Elliot’s new relationship with Ray is going to be good for his mental health.
When we first met Ray, he made a few references to his wife. In Episode 3, we see him sitting at a kitchen table conversing with… no one. We begin to suspect his wife does not exist. Later, he confirms this, telling Elliot that she died five years prior and he’s been talking to her ever since. “You and me are a lot more alike than you think,” he concludes.
He also found and read Elliot’s discarded journal, which means he knows more about Elliot’s inner struggles than any other character on the show. Ray could be exactly the therapist that Krista never could be. He’s intuitive, he has a calm, understanding approach, and he has a personal motive to get Elliot back on track.
Episode 3 seems to end with Elliot realizing he can’t rid himself of Mr. Robot completely. Ray can be a valuable mentor to help him find a little peace with his rocky mental state, and recover some clarity of purpose. After a slow few episodes, Mr. Robot is setting up high stakes again, with Dom DiPierro hot on fsociety’s tracks. The show needs Elliot back in form as much as Ray does.